We should be worried mamas.
The pressure, the constant stress, the emotional and mental burden we carry with us ALL…THE…TIME, it’s taking a toll.
This wasn’t the post I planned to publish today. I was going to share with you some things I’ve learned over these past 8 weeks of blogging.
But I spent this past weekend reading several articles that expose just how real our situation is becoming.
First, this article from Oprah – The New Midlife Crisis – Why (and How) It’s Hitting Gen X Women
Then I ran across this article from Scary Mommy – This is What a Mom Really Means When She Says “I’m Tired”
Between just these two, it’s clear that the burden of motherhood is no longer able to hide behind our seemingly “I’ve got it all together” facades.
It’s becoming obvious…in every aspect of our life, we don’t have it all together. But we try. We really try, to make it seem like we do.
We spend our days posting pics of coffee cups on Instagram – like more coffee would help.
We laugh about not being able to get out the door in time or that the kids are in another fight.
We joke about our “happy pills”.
What are we doing? Honestly, mamas WHAT…ARE…WE…DOING?
Pretending? Evading? Trying to get through our day by finding something, anything, to laugh about?
We might be fooling everyone around us, spouses included, but are we really fooling ourselves?
Deep down we know the real reason why we’re laughing about our “happy pills” – it’s not because we’re happy. It’s because, without them, we would crumble. And if we crumble, what will people think of us?
This is unacceptable. It’s unacceptable that we feel like we have to live in silence. It’s unacceptable that we are too afraid of ridicule to ask for help. It’s unacceptable that we feel like we have to cloak our burdens with laughter. It’s unacceptable that there is an overall lack of acceptance for mothers who aren’t “perfect”.” And, with an entire mommy community out there in the world, it’s unacceptable that we feel utterly alone.
If I have to be scorned, ridiculed, or shamed for speaking out about this, so be it. I’m ready for it. That is, I guess, what makes me an “Odd Mom”.
I am a mother who doesn’t always enjoy being a mother. That doesn’t make me a bad mother. It doesn’t make me an unfit mother. It doesn’t make me a failure as a mother.
It makes me real. And raw. And honest. And willing to say things others won’t.
There are mothers out there who are literally breaking. They feel like they don’t have any help. They feel like there is no answer. No relief. Then the unthinkable happens. Tragedy.
The excruciating pain this mother must have felt tears at my heart. Why? Because I’ve been there. In my darkest moments, I have thought that I could not go on. That my husband and daughter would be so much better on their own. That I was doing more harm than good by continuing to try to be a mother. I was aiming for perfection and every time I did, I failed miserably.
It wasn’t until I came home from work one night and saw my daughter looking at me hesitantly, wondering which mommy had walked through the door – the loving, cuddly mom that she could turn to; or the angry, stressed, always annoyed and ready to go off mom that frightened her. In that one moment, I realized…I needed to 1) get help, and 2) say screw you to the idea of being perfect.
You know what happened when I finally gave myself permission to stop trying to be perfect?
I empathize with mothers I see around me. I stopped pretending that life is perfect. I have mercy and compassion for myself because, once I accepted that it’s okay to not love being a mother, I found freedom. The impossible expectations I placed on myself melted away. I could breathe again.
Do you feel like you are being suffocated? By life? By your children? By society’s expectations? By trying, as much as you possibly can, to be that “perfect” mother? I feel ya girl. I did too. And to be honest, I still do at times. It is incredibly hard to change a mindset that you’ve lived with most of your life.
But we have to try. We have to. Because no one else is going to try for us.
Please take care of yourselves mamas. Love each other. Cry with each other. Have a good rant with each other. But mostly let’s be there for each other. And when we’re there for each other, let’s be real. Because we deserve real – we earned real.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255, anytime.